The one I go out on next week is a 13 day trip to Cape York and Thursday Island. The we come back to Cairns and have a whole day off before embarking on the Longest Shortcut, a trip that goes diagonally across Australia and ends up in Perth.
If you are interested you can look at the brochure here. If you sign up for the newsletter you will find some of my writing in there as well; I do a little feature piece called “Kitty on the Road”.
All of these trips are to very remote areas. I can be out of contact for as much as five days at a stretch. We carry a sat phone and EPERB for real trouble but mostly we just deal with it ourselves. That means fixing mechanical failures, using first aid skills to patch up as much as possible and having all of our gear and food with us for three days.
This next block will have me very tired at the end of it. I can already forsee major blow-ups with my co-worker. Mostly, I go along with him in my own subversive way because he is a prime example of his way being the right way and I don’t care enough to argue over trivial things. I pay lip service to his instructions and do just enough visually to make him think that I am complying.
For example, at one particular campsite the water tap was fairly close and he instructed me to fit a hose to it so that I could fill up my pots and pans and washing up water fairly easily. I didn’t even bother pointing out that somebody would still have to walk back and forth to turn the tap on and off; if you’re doing that already, why not just fill the containers at source?
I got the hose out of the bus and carefully unrolled it until one end was directly beneath the tap and the other adjacent to my cooking pots. And then proceeded to not use it once over the next day and half. In your face, B!
Most of the time we get along very well. He is ex-military, ex-police force; used to issuing commands. I am used to a certain autonomy so I can work with it but every so often I feel the need to have a frank discussion and remind him that we are a team. Last trip I called him out and told him that in all the commands he had issued, he had never once said please or thank you.
I pointed out that I always used the courtesies when it came to paxs helping and he said he would make more of an effort in future. We’ll see.